After being accused of molesting a minor, pastor Andy Savage admitted he sexually assaulted a high school senior who was 17 years old.
Highpoint Church Pastor stood in front of his megachurch congregation, admitted his actions, apologized for the “sexual incident” that occurred 20 years ago and got a standing ovation.
“It’s disgusting,” Woodson said.
The church doesn’t seem to mind that he assaulted a teenager when he was a senior in college and didn’t punish him in any way.
However, Christian publishing company Bethany House canceled the July publication of his book—“The Ridiculously Good Marriage.”
Meanwhile, a pastor at a the Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas, might be fired because of the incident. Larry Cotton was an associate pastor at Woodland Parkway Baptist Church in Texas, where Savage worked when he assaulted Woodson.
Woodson said that a pastor at the church urged her not to talk about the incident.
“We grieve for what happened to Jules Woodson,” Austin Stone’s communications director John Young said in a statement. “… No person should ever be subject to sexual sin from any church leader.”
The church felt it was “appropriate to ensure (Cotton’s) qualifications for his current role of leadership,” the statement read.
“In order to remove our potential bias from the situation, we have placed (Cotton) on a leave of absence while an investigation by a third-party organization is undertaken. We will provide a full report to the church after its completion.”
In graphic detail, the victim shared her story on Friday with The Wartburg Watch, a site run by two Christian women who saw “disturbing trends within Christendom.”
Afterward, the pastor claimed he responded in a “biblical way” and apologized to Woodson immediately.
Savage left out the details in his confession, and said he thought the rape was “dealt with in Texas.”
“Until now, I did not know there was unfinished business with Jules,” he said, reading a statement off his cell phone.
“Jules, I am deeply sorry for my actions 20 years ago. I remain committed to cooperate with you toward forgiveness and healing.”
Chris Conlee, Highpoint’s lead pastor, said he supports Savage, saying he was “hurt by the ripple effect of the consequences of that sin.”
“I just hope that by me coming forward that I would give courage to one other person,” said Woodson. She said she was inspired by the women who came forward with allegations against Matt Lauer.